On Friday, in celebration of what would have been the former “Tonight Show” host’s 95th birthday, both the National Comedy Center and the Elkhorn Valley Museum announced that they will jointly exhibit documents and pieces from the archived collection. The Elkhorn Valley Museum, located in Carson’s hometown of Norfolk, Neb., will unveil their expanded Johnny Carson gallery in 2021, while the National Comedy Center plans to set up a multi-media exhibit in 2022 titled “30 Years of Late Night Television, 30 Years Later.”
“For 30 years, Johnny kept the country laughing through good times and bad, while also introducing us to many of the greatest stand-up comedians ever to take the stage,” National Comedy Center executive director Journey Gunderson said. “The story of comedy in America simply cannot be told properly without presenting Johnny Carson’s enormous and invaluable contribution to the art form.”
Carson’s nephew Jeff Sotzing, who is also the president of Carson Entertainment Group, will provide various documents from the host’s creative process to archive in the collection.
The archival materials will be accessible by both museums in the future. The two entities will also collaborate to provide the necessary items from their shared collection for special projects and other exhibits related to Carson.
“We’re tremendously excited about the upcoming expansion of our Johnny Carson Gallery at the Elkhorn Valley Museum in Johnny’s hometown of Norfolk,” said Austen Hagood, a member of Elkhorn Valley Museum’s board of directors. “And we’re so pleased to be joining forces with the National Comedy Center so that together we can continue to present Johnny’s story, his Norfolk roots and his remarkable career to comedy fans around the world.”